“Every time I put on my uniform, I feel very proud and happy to do so.”

 A former Orchard Brae pupil, who was inspired by Sport Aberdeen’s Active Schools team, landed himself a permanent job with the award-winning charity earlier this year after volunteering over 1,000 hours of his time. 

 Alex started helping the Active Schools Assistant at Orchard Brae during lunchtime clubs, setting up stations and helping to get participants warmed up prior to the session. Before long Alex was helping throughout whole sessions and leading drills with the continued support of the assistant.

 Alex also helped with the delivery of the holiday programmes and began to lead activities, whilst being assisted by other members of staff and was given the responsibility of leading the school football team.

 He was very caring with all his participants, ensuring they had ample information and time to pick up skills. His confidence grew with every session and he acted in a very professional mature manner, treating his volunteering as someone well beyond his years.

 Once Alex left school and went to North East Scotland College, he continued to volunteer his time with Sport Aberdeen, completing over 10 hours each week. This included curricular, lunchtime and evening sessions in a range of sports. Alex would try his hand at anything, doing his research and coming to every session well prepared.

 Through his interactions with the Active Schools Assistant and Coordinator, Alex became more and more involved with the coaching sessions and has now been volunteering for around three years, and within this period has given in excess of 1,000 hours of volunteered time. 

 Due to his continued professional standards and ever-growing confidence in delivery, Sport Aberdeen was delighted when he successfully went through the coach recruitment process and secured a role as Holiday Camp Leader. 

 Alex is the first pupil from an additional support needs school to volunteer with the Active Schools programme, and the first to secure a coaching job with Sport Aberdeen, an outstanding achievement.

 Alex commented on his achievements and experiences, saying:

 “I’m very excited to be working for Sport Aberdeen. Working with Active Schools has given me more confidence. I work with Scott and Grant who have both helped me to get better at delivering sports and activities. I really hope I can help more children to get the same chance in the future.

 “Every time I put on my uniform, I feel very proud and happy to do so.”

 Grant Wilson, Lead Active Schools Coordinator for the Additional Support Needs Provision, also commented:

 “Alex specifically works with children with additional support needs and acts as a role model for them to aspire to. He is a trailblazer and we are very excited to support him on his journey of employment.”

 Keith Gerrard, Sport Aberdeen Director of Healthy and Active Communities, said:

 “We are thrilled that Alex decided to pursue a career with Sport Aberdeen and will continue to fully support him every step of the way, as is the case with any budding young employee who shows this level of enthusiasm and commitment.

 “Securing this role is testament to his unwavering dedication and hard work and I think clocking up over 1,000 of volunteered hours is an incredible achievement in itself. As a registered charity we pride ourselves on offering opportunities to people of all ages and abilities and realise the importance of fostering the next generation of sporting stars, whatever capacity this may be in. 

 “Sport Aberdeen is committed to creating opportunities, inspiring people and changing lives through sport and physical activity.”

 At the start of October Alex’s dedication and commitment was celebrated when he took home the title of 'Young Volunteer of the Year' at Aberdeen’s Sports Awards.